The effects of cell phones on your brain

Posted by David Khoirul
The effects of mobile phone on human brain have been an endless debate among scientists. Long conversations on cell phones, according to a study published in tomorrow ’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, affect parts of your brain. It made me scared the first time I heard about its long-term effects, including tumor and cancer, though I'm a bit relieved now to know that there's a solution for this scary thing: a headset. Using a headset, I don't have to hold my phone to my ear anymore.

I don't know whether staring at the phone internet screen also affects my brain. But if it really does, I'll probably be in the risk of ruining my head since every day, more than 8 hours, I'm connected to the internet to browse websites and update my blogs.

All the study found when it tracked 47 mobile-toting participants for one year was this: brain metabolism in a small area nearest the antenna was 7% higher when they were on a 50- minute call. So cell phones boost brain activity. (Specifically, they raise glucose levels.) Doesn ’t sound so bad when put like that, does it? For all we know, blasting your brain with focused radio waves could be the mental equivalent of going to the gym. Glucose levels rise with just about any complex brain activity. For comparison, that 7% metabolism boost is less than the amount of energy it takes to process images via your eyes.

Of course, for all we know, the long-term effects could be pretty scary. Tumor cells need a lot of glucose, too. But that may be no more than coincidence. Researchers were careful to tiptoe around the C-word. And with good reason: as Ars Technica points out, in biology, there is absolutely no known mechanism that could lead from low-energy, long-wavelength radiation to cancer. A giant, 13-nation study begun in 2000 still hasn’t found any proof linking the two. Cell phone users, science is on your side -- for now.

Bottom line: we know relatively little about brain science and even less about cell phone use. Decades of further study is going to be needed for a definitive answer. We ’ve all heard anecdotes from friends about how calls give them headaches, or a buzzing sensation. They could be right, or they could be hypochondriacs. Maybe cell phones affect each brain differently. At the moment, there ’s just no way of telling.

[via Mashable]


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